On Tuesday, August 8th, we received word from Big Country Wildlife Rehabilitation Center that bats were roosting at the Mall of Abilene and were in danger of possibly being killed by the Operations Manager, Jason Moore. Note that these bat had been roosting at the Mall of Abilene for years without any issues. We called Mr. Moore right away to offer advice on how to humanely exclude the bats, and we also spoke with the Orkin office in Abilene about humane bat exclusions. The manager at Orkin was wonderful and wanted to do what was best for the bats. Mr. Moore also agreed to doing a humane exclusion the following week. The following day, however, Jason Moore instead decided to seal the roost with silicone. Some of the colony had left their roost before it was sealed, but dozens ended up trapped inside. Unable to leave their roost, they sought an escape route and ended up inside the mall (exactly what we explained to Mr. Moore would happen if the bats were sealed in rather than humanely excluded).
TRAPPED BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE
When we found out the bats were sealed in, we called Jason Moore and offered to do an exclusion for him so the remaining bats trapped in the roost could escape. We received a photo of bats huddled at the entrance of their newly-sealed roost, trying to get back inside. They could hear the cry’s of the trapped roost mates inside the sealed roost as the hot sun seared down on them and the temperature rose to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. We also heard that one of the bats was stuck in silicone. When we asked Mr. Moore what happened to that bat, he replied “Oh, he’s still up there.”
Jason Moore agreed to let us provide a humane exclusion for him as well as remove the bats huddled outside their roost. He also agreed to let us unseal the roost, which we explained would be in his best interest if he did not want even more bats going into the mall stores in their attempts to find a way out. After driving two hours, we arrived to the mall and quickly went to work rescuing the bats on the outside of the building. Fortunately, the bat trapped in the silicone managed to escape and fly away before we arrived.
In total, 181 bats were saved. Nine were in critical condition and are now receiving care.
Big Country Wildlife and Rehabilitation Center, Orkin of Ailene, and Bat World Sanctuary all tried to work with Jason Moore, to no avail, before he sealed the bats in. He stated that he didn’t care if all of the bats died, he just wanted them out. While we were there, we witnessed Jason Moore berating his employees as well as customers entering the mall. He was also rude to us, even though we were doing him a huge favor at no charge. (Two of our staff ended up with heat exhaustion after being on the lift in the hot sun for hours while Jason Moore watched from below in his air conditioned truck.)
CONFESSED TO KILLING BATS
The following day, Jason Moore collected two bats from inside of the mall, and instead of immediately calling the nearby Big Country Wildlife and Rehabilitation, he instead placed the bats into a box, then put the box in the bed of his truck in the blistering heat. Both bats died due to the heat before rescuers became aware of them.
Unfortunately, there is no protection for bats in Texas when they are in a building occupied by people. We can only assume that Mr. Moore is continuing to kill bats still lost inside the mall. To our current knowledge he has not been fired.
The Mall of Abilene is managed by JLL USA. Contact information for the CEO and Chief Human Resources of JLL are listed below. Please send emails asking that Jason Moore resign from his position at the Abilene Mall.